Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Such Great Joy

Today has really been one of those days where I can see His hand at work in the mundane and ordinary details of housewifery and motherhood.  My little man is growing up so quickly - and so very slowly - all at once.  Every night waking, every diaper change, and every bowl of cereal mixed and spooned into his needy, open mouth causes me to wonder ... "when will this ever end?" ... while simultaneously causing my heart to seize up with the fear that it will end, and sooner than I can possibly imagine. 

Nobody told me that motherhood was going to be such a careful tightrope between fierce love and paralyzing fear of loss, intermingled with moments of sheer tedium which my working-girl-self could only have imagined on the longest days of board meeting prep and Excel spreadsheet creation.  (And even then, it would have been a stretch.  A mighty stretch.) 

Nature abhors a vacuum, and in the absence of adult company and conversation, Hulu comes all too readily to the rescue to fill the void with ... further vapidity.  Can I get an 'amen,' fellow WAH/SAHM's?

Now I realize this all sounds like complaining... but it's not.  I swear it's not!  It's just that, darn it, I didn't plan on being so bored with my day to day existence when I was dreaming about white picket fences and sweet, cooing, dewy-eyed newborns who smelled of linen and baby Gap couture. 

Or so terrified that it might be taken from me, either in the inevitable future or in a terrifying, tragic instant.

There is such a mighty daily tug-of-war for my heart, for my attention.  Such rapid vacillation between  contented fulfillment and wild, grasping tedium.  So many little victories of scrubbing floors, dishes and diapers for the Kingdom... followed by slumping afternoons of wasted web-crawling and idle online 'shopping*'

(*no credit cards were harmed in the posting of this blog... nor by my occasional, pathetic, virtual window-shopping binges).

I'm so hot or cold. 

I'm still that way as a mom, it turns out.  As a 'grown up' who has, shall we say, arrived at her vocational destination.  It's all or nothing for me, still.  I'm either serving God joyfully with the sweat of my brow and the foaming dish soap of my kitchen sink... or I'm flopped on the couch reading's Style Watch and watching the clock tick down to my husband's return home, 20 minutes prior to which I will begin frantically scanning for, ahem, poultry inspiration.

And yet I have the audacity to write about the glory of family life?  The splendor of motherhood?  The evils of contraception and the closed-mindedness of our anti-life, anti-family culture. 

Well, yeah

I'm still a crappy sinner, after all.  And just because I 'get it' intellectually and, more rarely, spiritually, doesn't mean I live it well.  Or at all, some days.

And I don't mean crappy sinner in a snow-covered-dung-hill-Martin-Luther kinda way, just in a realization of my own brokenness and need for ongoing conversion and formation kinda way.

Make sense? 

No worries.  Not so much to me either.  But sometimes I've just got to 'talk it out' on paper.  And when it comes to blogging, maybe somebody else sees it and gets some sliver of insight from it. 

Or maybe not.  But it did keep me off Hulu all morning.  So there's a start. 

St. Therese... pray for me.  Seriously girl, I need it.


  1. Make sense? Um, yeah! I go through the same battles and tug-of-war. (except my credit card is a little damaged and I need to get over this obsession with what Kate Middleton wears...) But I totally get what you are saying. On the battle bewteen boredom, "me" time, and my vocation as a mother, what has almost solved this problem for me is simply having more kids! Now that my daughter is older, she can't have me watching the latest episode of "Drop Dead Diva" because, of course, it's not appropriate for her. And "me" time? With a boy-toddler, what is that?!

    Motherhood is a crazy, wonderful thing. It has drawn me out of myself in ways that nothing else (even my wonderful hubby) could. And with each passing year I am getting closer to the mother and wife I want to be. Just keep up the fight, keep blogging (cause I love to read it!), and remember that everything is just a stage. This last fact is what gets me through - and helps me embrace the hard times of poopy diapers and messy floors - because our little ones won't always be little and they won't always be this cute.

    All my prayers sent your way!!

    PS: oh, and that paralyzing fear of loss? grips me everyday. and it makes me appreciate even more every moment I have with them for, Lord knows, how precious life is.

  2. Love it Kristine...and if my kids turn out half as cute as yours... weeeee!

  3. I second what Kristine said before :) I keep hearing over and over again..."you are in a season of life...a season...a season..." I think I heard that phrase before getting married and having children, but I don't think I got it (or have as much peace with it) as I do now. Life as you (we) know it is forever changed. As much as we try, we really can't force our lives to be as they once were...and even though we know it, we have to remind ourselves, in the midst of everything...that this change, this SEASON is a good, good thing. Even though we know that, of course.

    Crappy days happen. Lapses happen (such as too much internet when we should be folding laundry-hello!)but ultimately, the biggest and brightest light is that you can look at your son and he is healthy, he is happy, he is well-fed and well slept (or at least you hope). You are a good mother because you are his mother and because you are you...and because God willed it to be so. No longer are your days to look like any other of your other days...and thank goodness for that.

    Soon, life will change again. Perhaps another baby (which will fill more time, believe me), a more mobile and communicative son, a breath of courage and conviction in mothering, etc. Another season. The hardest part about getting there (for me) is the patience part. Patience, patience...and more patience. Oh..and just acknowledging the mundane days and vow to change that.

    There are two books that have really changed my outlook over the last two years. A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot (you either love or hate this book from the comments I've received on it. I loved it and the structure it provided)...and 10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker. The Denver library has the latter one if you're interested.

    Whew. Ok, it's late and I've just written a novel on your wall. I'm so sorry :) Cliff notes? You're a great mom...and are completely 'normal' for feeling the way you do, I assure you. I do all the time. Many blessings to you!

  4. So true!!! Two thoughts:
    1) This time of boooooredom will pass quickly. If you are blessed with more babies, they will have big siblings keeping things interesting all day long... the first six or seven years are the hardest, in terms of boredom and all this craziness. Even if you're still having babies for a long time, when your oldest is ten or twelve, it feels very different. (And if you time it right, they can monitor the baby's nap while YOU nap, too!)
    2) This is why I've tried really hard to learn LOTS of songs, rhymes, poems, stories, and fairy tales. They work double duty to teach all sorts of virtues and morals and cultural tales, as well as keep me from losing my mind as brushing hair takes 30 minutes. And yes, I advocate telling stories to 4 month olds way too young to understand you. At least YOU can enjoy them.


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